Prep Abroad Program

Istanbul Bilgi University English Preparatory Program students have an opportunity to complete their academic English education at the partner universities in the USA and Canada. Istanbul Bilgi University has agreements with five universities in four states in the USA and three universities in two states in Canada. Students can study abroad for the entire program or a portion of it. 

Who can attend?

New students, irregular students (who have completed English Preparatory Program in fall semester) and faculty students (the ones whose departmental studies are in Turkish) can attend this program.

Terms of Attendance

Students should attend at least a 7-week program.

Students are not expected to be at a certain language level.

It is compulsory for students to take the placement test of the university they want to attend upon arrival. They will be placed into classes accordingly. The placement test can be taken online in Turkey for some universities. 

The application should be made 30-45 days before the starting date of the program.

Living expenses and housing prices are not included in the tuition fees.


Completion of a portion of or the whole English Preparatory Program abroad will provide our students with the benefits below.

- Having English Preparatory Program in a country where English is the native language will give our students a great opportunity to use the language outside of the classroom in daily life. The activities organized by university clubs will create additional environments to use English actively. 

- Getting to know new cultures via friendships with the students coming from different countries and obtaining new perspectives will be an asset.

- Study abroad experience at the beginning of university education will enable our students to acquire a global vision and sustain this in undergraduate programs and at further levels. 

- Gaining skills such as presentation, critical thinking, speaking in front of a group of people and academic research will be quite useful in their educational life. 

- Living abroad at an early age will bring the students a strong sense of responsibility.

Partner Universities


Arizona State University (Arizona, Phoenix)
University of California, Irvine
 (Irvine, CA)
University of Pennsylvania (Philadephia, PA)
University of California San Diego (San Diego, CA)
Boston University (Boston, MA)
Drew University (Maddison, NJ)


The University of British Columbia (Vancouver, BC)
Wilfrid Laurier University (Brantford, ON)

Starting Dates

Starting dates will depend on the institution. Further information will be delivered upon request.

Terms of Completion

Level 5 should be completed to be able to graduate from Istanbul Bilgi University English Preparatory Program.

For Further Information

Global Talent Management Center
Global Affairs

Student Testimonials

Vildan Nur Karaoğlan


College of Mount Saint Vincent
Dominican University of California

When I was a senior at high school, I had a dream of going to the USA for English preparatory year education. My dream came true with Istanbul Bilgi University. I attended the College of Mount Saint Vincent-New York for 4 months and Dominican University of California-San Francisco for 5 months. Before I went to America, I had certain concerns an 18-year old person could hear but after sparing myself some time everything went well and my life began there. I stayed at a dormitory in both states. I have never had a dormitory experience before and dormitary life taught me many things. I made so many friends from a lot of different cultures and we even became close friends. Many of the students there are open to becoming friends and welcoming differences. I am pretty sure that we all contributed a lot to each other. I also raised my English level to a pretty high point. In my first days in the USA, I understood people but could not speak in English because I didn’t have enough practice like so many persons in Turkey. After 9 months, everyone can notice that I have great fluency in English. Your accent softens. I cannot speak English like an American of course but the way I speak it right now is completely different than they way I spoke it when I was in Turkey.

On the other hand, alongside with learning a language, you are having a chance to have a bird’s eye view on Turkey from a country which hosts people from several different cultures. In this awesome period in which you are all alone with yourself and get to know different cultures and people, you begin to discover our culture, our values and yourself. After a while, you learn to look at life through different perspectives and love differences more. I stayed in two states of the USA which are different from each other. I heard different accents, I visited many places in these two states. My self-confidence and courage strengthened as I did these things by myself. Regarding this, I can say that studying English preparatory class in Turkey and in America are completely different from each other.

Lastly, I have faced a lot of problems in social life, but since I was on my own there, I had to learn to fight them. If you have any problems with the school, Bilgi University makes you feel that they always support you. I think I’m one of those who know it best because my plan was not studying at Dominican University of California-San Francisco. I planned to go to New York and finish my English preparatory class there but after 4 months, I did not want to stay in the same place. I changed the state just to see different places and get to know more people. Both schools were connected and they did their best to help me. I would like to thank my university for offering this opportunity to me, Global Affairs team for being by my side all the time and everyone who helped me on this journey.

PS: Since my America journey is a 9-month long journey from New York to California, I want to talk about the differences between these two states because I know that most people are undecided between New York and California. In my opinion, New York is like Istanbul and San Francisco is like Izmir. New York is a complicated, crowded, and cosmopolitan city. It is home to many well-known museums, bridges, and more human structures, such as MOMA, MET, etc. On the other hand, San Francisco is a place where quiet and famous natural areas (park, lake, coast, island, etc.) and single-story houses are more abundant. American life is much more prominent. New York accent is much clearer, while the Californian one is more accentuated. That was a small detail.

I like San Francisco’s rainy weather which is neither too cold nor too hot. And I like San Francisco’s people who have always smiling faces. On the other hand, I like New York’s order in a chaotic atmosphere, crowded places, and people who have same dreams with you and different ones. It doesn’t matter. They came to New York to follow their dreams. It is the most important thing.

Dilek Dalbay

Industrial Engineering

College of Mount Saint Vincent

I completed my English Preparatory Program early but I didn't want to start my faculty as an irregular student.

I knew that I should improve my English as much as possible and studying abroad is the best way to do that. I did researches about studying abroad opportunities at Bilgi then I found out that they have language programs in the USA. So I attended an ELS Program at College of Mount Saint Vincent in New York.

Even though I had some hard times in the beginning, I improved my English and had many friends from different countries. I learned a lot from different cultures, friends and teachers. It was very easy to go places because public transportation is very common. I traveled New York in 3 months. I visited the symbolic places in New York, watched two big Broadway shows and had a great time during my stay in New York.

I think this is a great opportunity that everybody should experience at least once in their lives. I thank Bilgi for giving me this opportunity to study abroad.

Nilay Altıaylık


College of Mount Saint Vincent

Planning and going to the US were very excited for me. There are several reasons for choosing NYC for English Preparatory Program education. First of all, I found a lot of advantages for learning about other cultures in the world. Also learning English in the US was beneficial for my accent and speaking skills in daily life. I am really glad that I chose College of Mount Saint Vincent via Prep Abroad Program. Teachers at the school and my friends in the campus were very helpful for my NYC experience. In 21st century, English is the most common language in the world so it is important to learn English for your career. If you want to go to US for your English Preparatory Program education, you may want to choose NYC for delightful discoveries about art, life, music and history.

Mehmet Can Tengiroğlu


Dominican University of California

After completing first levels at Istanbul Bilgi University English Preparatory Program, I attended the academic English program at Dominican University of California in San Francisco in order to complete the last level and practice English in a native environment via Prep Abroad Program. The education I took in the USA gave me a chance to use English in a fast and active way. In this process, I learned to cope with difficulties in a country where I didn’t have a good command of its mother tongue. My ability to cope with difficulties increased my self-confidence. I had an opportunity to make new friendships with people from different cultures. The interaction with different cultures enabled me to adapt easily to new environments and relationships. I’d like thank Istanbul Bilgi University and BilgiTalent team for offering this opportunity to me.

Hacı Sefa Oğuz

Mechatronics Engineering

Santa Monica

When I was studying at English Preparatory School, some of my friends were talking about Prep Abroad Program in the USA. I thought that it could be a good opportunity to improve my English skills and began to research it. Firstly, I had a meeting with Global Affairs unit at santralistanbul Campus and learned what steps to follow. Afterwards, my America dream started.

My school was in Los Angeles. I settled in my apartment. I met with my new roommates. They were so helpful. They gave me some tips about the life in LA on my first day. My education got started next day. I felt very lucky as my apartment was only 20 minutes away from my school. I was very excited to meet with my new friends. I made many friends from different parts of the world. I learned about their cultures and languages. It was so fun because I like learning new things. I and my friends became close friends in a short time. We had an activity almost everyday. We went to a lot of places such as Walk of Fame or Hollywood Sign. We walked around almost everywhere in LA. I was so lucky that my school was at 3rd Street, one of the most popular streets in LA. I was quite content with my school since it had a warm atmosphere and friendly teachers. They were so kind and fun. I added them on my Instagram account. We are sometimes talking on Instagram though I am in Turkey now.

After all, I spent 5 months in LA. Everyone I met taught me a lot of things. I gained so much experience about life. I want to thank İstanbul Bilgi University for offering me that opportunity.

Münir Özsoy

International Trade and Business

Santa Monica

My Los Angeles experience was one of the best in my whole life. I realized that I was worried unnecessarily upon arrival. I made plenty of friendships that would last for a long time. Above all, the location of the school was perfect. It was one of the most important advantages for students. Teachers were very helpful in every issue right from the start. We were very lucky in terms of the diversity of social activities. That the weather was almost sunny every day was quite motivating for everybody. My favourite place, Venice Beach, made me feel that I was in Los Angeles. To speak about transportation, it was very straightforward using bus. The school was only 15 minutes away from where I stayed. I got adapted to the school and the city in a very short time. I returned to Turkey satisfiedly. I am grateful for being offered this opportunity by Istanbul Bilgi University.